Bjorn Workshop and the 9/11 Scots Pine

A week yesterday, where does the time go! I was taking part in a group Workshop in Belfast with Bjorn Bjorholm. I missed him the last time he visited due to a holiday but this time I grabbed a slot with Belfast Bonsai’s event.

My tree for the day was only a recent addition to my collection but a tree that I have a special connection to. It belonged to my best friend Stephen who was letting a few of his bigger trees go due to the fact that they were bigger than him. Sorry Stephen, I can’t resist 🙂 The tree was originally purchased as raw material from Willowbog Bonsai back in the late 90’s.

I helped Stephen with it’s first styling on 11th September 2001, a date that will forever stay in my memory and why I call the tree the 9/11 Scottie. I can remember standing wiring this tree with Stephen when my wife knocked the window and told us to come inside. We watched the horror unfold.

When Stephen told me he was selling it all these years later I didn’t hesitate to buy it. I have a few trees that have sentimental value to me because of who used to own them but this tree resonates for a different reason. I’ve dealt with a fair bit of stress in my life including Post Traumatic Stress and, for whatever reason, this tree seems to echo back to a time where those involved and survived no doubt have many of the same issues I have. This probably sounds stupid unless you’ve experienced something similar. Anyway, it’s my tree for my reasons and I suppose that’s all that really matters. It seemed fitting for an American Bonsai artist to carry out the work some 18 years later nearly to the day.

This is the tree back in 2001\2.

and a few other pics of it over the years.

and how it was prior to the workshop.

And this is a gallery of the workshop day with my tree.

The finished tree.

A massive thank you to Bjorn. It was pleasing to see that he was as enthusiastic about the tree and result as I was.

A new pot in the Spring more suited to the style and the tree will live on as a memory for me.

 

Ryan’s Back

It’s not looking good for me making it over to the Ryan Neil workshops at Willowbog Bonsai in April. I’m truly gutted about it.

I can’t see Ryan making it to the UK too often and this is a missed opportunity. Having done a workshop back in 2013 I know just what I’m going to be missing.

Here’s a taster from 2013, the videos from the demo day.

End of an Era…….

… well 4 years at any rate.

As part of the NI Bonsai Society programme for the last four years we have had the pleasure of delivering the ‘Bonsai School’ 3 times a year for the last 4 years. This has been in partnership with Willowbog Bonsai and in particular, Peter Snart.

I’ve known Peter for over 15 years and in that time we have become firm friends. As I host the school sessions at my home, I have had Peter as a house guest 12 times since 2011 and this doesn’t count many other times in previous years. The favour has been returned when I have visited Willowbog Bonsai to attend shows and take part in workshops with people such as Ryan Neil, Peter Warren and Marco Invernizzi.

Peter has now called time on the school in it’s current format, I think mainly due to the fact that he’s fed up packing that bloody van!! 🙂

Bonsai for me is as much about friendship as wee trees and I’m delighted to have both Peter and Jean as friends. The school may be over but the friendship continues. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back at some point and I’m definitely sure I’ll be at Willowbog in the years to come, but in the meantime, thank you Peter.

There, gushing over lol

DSC_0372

Busy Day….

I played host to the Clubs Bonsai School Session today. All very enjoyable with good friends and bonsai learning at the top of the agenda. Just how many times can Ben photobomb!!

Youth to the right age to the left 🙂

DSC_0293

DSC_0294

DSC_0295

DSC_0297

DSC_0301

BSA Exhibition Video Parts 3&4

 

Two more for you.

 

 

 

Video

BSA 2014 Exhibition Part 2

Here’s Part 2, this time Valentin Brose takes us on a tour of the exhibits. Valentin has got to be one of the nicest artists in the European bonsai scene.

 

Video

BSA 2014 Exhibition Part 1

Finally I’ve got around to putting together all the little bits of video and photos from the British Shohin Association Exhibition at Willowbog Bonsai back in March this year.

This is part 1 of 6 showing Mr Peter Warren on one of his wanders around the exhibits. I only got a small portion on video as I was crowded out by the hordes in attendance 🙂 Not a bad thing at a show I think.

Video

Video of Bonsai School Weekend

Done this for the club to give a flavour of what we get up to at one of these things.

 

Ben’s Juniper Carving

At the recent Willowbog Workshop on Sunday Ben brought along his Squamata Juniper for some block carving work by Peter Snart. Peter got Ben to do a little Rip and tear on a few of the finer bits of deadwood first and then he got stuck in with the Makita to do some basic block carving on the heavier areas. Peter reckons he’d need a week to do the tree. If he carves as fast as he walks, I’d believe it too 😉

Willowbog Bonsai Online Revamp

Have you checked out Willowbog Bonsai’s new Website and Blog? Great fresh new look. Time to change your bookmarks?

Click Image for new Website

ScreenHunter_50 Jun. 04 18.27

 

 

 

 

 

Click image for new blog.

ScreenHunter_51 Jun. 04 18.28